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Parable against persecution
Roman Catholic views of the Trinity, taken from the Rt.
Rev. Bishop Hay's abridgement of the Christian doctrine 40
Sketch of the memoirs of John Huss and Jerome of Prague,
BROWN AND ISAIAH
THE DEFENCE OF REV. JOSEPH
BOYNTON, ESQ. This defence shows the things in which they offended the church to which they belonged, in Plymouth, Vt. and the proceedings of that church in their excommunication. It was with reluctance that Mr. Brown consented to have it published. He would that it could have been buried in everlasting forgetfulness. “Tell it not in Gath ; publish it not in the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of the uncircuincised triumph.” But the publication of this defence is due to Mr. Boynton, as a vindication of an injured character, and which affords him the best means of retrieving what, it seems, the chureh have been disposed to take from him.
With the defence it is thought best to publish the result of two ecclesiastical councils. The councils were both ex parte, because the church could not be persuaded to join in a mutual one.
We shall endeavor to offer a full and a fair view of the whole case as it appeared before the councils. And that it may be easy to the understanding of our readers, we think proper to observe, that after Mr Brown's defence in favor of Mr. Boynton, he and others withdrew from the church, in consequence of their extraordinary proceedings in his case. Mr. Brown was soon convinced of his error :-he made his acknowledgement, and wished to return. But the church would not consent, unless he could acknowledge his defence was wrong, and their proceedings right. This however, he could not do ;-consequently stood, neither in the church nor out of it, før
No. 1. Vol. III. 1
the church would neither bring any formal complaint against him as an offending brother, nor suffer him to return as an innocent brother. Neither would they join in council. In this situation he called his first council ex parte. And the council pronounced him a member of the church and in good standing. Immediately upon this, the church brought their complaints, undertook their labor, and proceeded to his excommunication. He then called his last council ex parte. The result of each council will come forward in its proper place.
But the first thing is the letter which he read at the time he and the undersigned withdrew. The following is a copy
“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We the undersigners, a few years since, united with the church of Christ in this place. Then we said in our hearts, this is the Lord's inheritance; and this our home. Here then let us live ; and here let us die in peace. But so extraordinary have been the proceedings of the ehurch since our standing herein, more particularly of late, that we can stand in safety no longer. Therefore, we are constrained to withdraw our fellowship and get iininediately out.
The next thing is lis letter of confession, written before their Pastor elect was ordained.
Cavendish, Sept. 29, 1820. Dea: CLARKE AND DEA. Davison,
Upen more mature reflection, I am at length satisfied, that I did wrong in withdrawing from the church of Christ in Plymouth, at the time, and for the reasons I did. The reasons I do not think are sufficient
* 'Esc parte, son one side."
to justify my conduct; altho I then thought they were. I am therefore sorry, and now wish to retract the error of my way, and return to my place and my duty ;-praying that the wound which was then inAlicted, which gave me great uneasiness, and which still continues to give me uneasiness, may be healed ; and that, in time to come, we may adorn our christian profession better than ever we have done; glorify the name of our Redeemer; and, at last, die in peace. From your brother who wishes to return,
Joseph Brown. Deacs. Clarke and Davison.
Please to take the mind of the church, and as soon as convenient, signify it to me. If they can pass over the hasty step I have taken, I shall consider myself in the church as before.
[To be communicated.] The answer of the church, upon the same letter, returned :
"Mr. Brown, Sir, yesterday we had a church meeting; the members pretty generally attended. This letter was communicated, and not accepted.
DANIEL CLARKE, &c.” After this Mr. Brown took advice; particularly of Rev. Sylvester Sage, of Westminster. He advised to a friendly conference with the church. Mr. Brown then proposed it. The following is an account of the conference, showing his ' readiness to return, and their unwillingness to consent;-also, his request for a mutual council, and their backwardness to comply.
CONFERENCE WITH THE CHURCH, As I was advised and thought proper, I proposed a conference with the church, sometime, I think, in December. The principal members attended. I then told them again I was satisfied I had done wrong, in withdrawing from the church at the time, and in the manner I did ; and was sorry I did it. I also asked
their forgiveness, and wished they would consent to my return. In answer Dea. Clarke observed, from your letter of confession, it appears you were much dissatisfied with our proceedings, and still are. knowledged I was. Why then do you wish to return 7 I answered, I hope for a settlement of our difficulties. For my part, said I, I feel a readiness to see, and retract all my wrongs.
And from your christian profession, I am encouraged to hope you feel the same. And if
you do, a settlement will be easy. A settlement is always easy when we feel this mutual readiness to see and retract our errors.
Rev. Abel Mapning observed, that in my letter of confession, I had not so much as touched upon the main difficulty--the principal wrong. I was desirous to know what that wrong was. He said my exhibition, meaning my defence in favor of brother Boynton. It amounted, said he, to a justification of his restoration sentiments, and a crimination of the church; and for his part, he did not want a Universalist in the church, nor any one inclining that way. It was enough for him to know that a man was a Universalist. Such a man ought not to be in the church.
I answered, as to justifying brother Boynton's restoration sentiments, Mr. Manning or I myself must labor under a great mistake ; for I meant to do no such thing. I then thought, and I still think, his restoration sentiments erroneous. As to criminating the church, my endeavor was to open the case before us in its true light, and dissuade my brethren from proceeding, and no more. However, in this I might be wrong, and I might be very wrong. All I can say, is, I am not at present sensible I was wrong. If I were, I should be glad to have the wrong pointed out, and make full satisfaction.
Mr. Manning further observed, that as it respected myself, I was now out of the church, and the church would expect of me the same which they expect of others, at their admission. But as it respected them, he said, I was not out of the church,